Reply To: Germination Test Discussion

Jessy Swisher

On the night of October 20, I started my germination test.  I started 10 seeds each of the following: Blue Emmer, Turkey Red Wheat, Caucasus ancient bread wheat, and Huauzontle.  Then I forgot to check the seeds until the morning of October 23.

As of 10/23, the Blue Emmer and Turkey Red Wheat had 100% germination.  The Caucasus had 7 out of 10 fully germinated, with one more beginning to germinate.  The huauzontle had 7 out of 10 germinated.

I checked again the afternoon of 10/24, and there were 8 Caucasus germinated and 8 huauzontle germinated.  At that point, I planted all the wheat and emmer seeds, and left the huazontle to check on one more day.

I was surprised at the vigor of the wheat and emmer seeds.  The Caucasus was from the 2018 harvest (I got from Eli Rogosa at the NOFA-NY Conference in Jan 2019).  The Blue Emmer and Turkey Red Wheat were from the 2019 harvest (I got from growers in Jan 2020 at Grain School in Colorado).  The two photos below show how strongly the wheat was germinating through the paper towel within just 3 days.

I was also surprised about the germination of the huauzontle.  Those were seeds I had just harvested within the last few weeks.  But I was surprised because I had seeded an entire 72-count try of huauzontle at the beginning of the year, and only 2 plants germinated.  I had also direct seeded more seeds and the germination was very poor.  I thought this plant was very difficult to germinate.  But now I think it was either: planting depth was too deep, soil ph was off, or the seeds I was sold were poor quality (lots of empty seed cases).

germ 1

germ 2